NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- The UMass Dartmouth football team erased a 22-0 halftime deficit as the host Corsairs posted a 33-29 victory over Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletics Conference (MASCAC) foe Bridgewater State University on Friday night at Cressy Field.
UMass improves to 2-3 on the season and 2-2 in the MASCAC, while Bridgewater slips to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
In a see-saw affair over the final five minutes of regulation, the lead changed hands three times. The Corsairs took their first advantage of the contest with 4:52 remaining, when freshman Kevin Wadsworth (Bridgewater, Mass.) hauled in a seven-yard strike from classmate Cullen Hanna (Richmondville, N.Y.) to give the hosts a 25-22 lead.
Bridgewater State responded with a six-play, 62-yard drive, capped by senior quarterbackMike McCarthy's (Edgartown, Mass.) three-yard plunge. The visitors thought they delivered the decisive score, but the Bears left the Corsairs with just over two minutes on the scoreboard.
UMass Dartmouth demonstrated its quick-strike abilities with a three-play, 35 second drive. With one minute, 22 seconds on the clock, Hanna connected with Wadsworth for an 18-yard gain. On the ensuing play, Hanna scrambled for a 22-yard run through the left side of the visitors line to set up the 39-yard, game-winning catch by sophomore Abiola Aborishade(Attleboro, Mass.). Following a 15-yard penalty, Hanna tossed an 18-yard strike to Aborishade in the back, right corner of the end zone to complete the two-point play and give the hosts a three-point cushion with one minute, eight seconds on the clock.
Following a Matt Green (Stoughton, Mass.) 30-yard kick-off return, Bridgewater moved the ball 40 yards down to the UMD seven in a little over a minute. A Green 19-yard reception and a 15-yard catch by senior Chris Constantine (Hingham, Mass.) highlighted the drive. The Corsairs defense, however, sealed their first victory over the Bears since 2008 with an interception by senior Art Azatyants (Brookline, Mass.) at the UMass Dartmouth two-yard line with just seven seconds remaining in regulation.
Bridgewater had taken a 22-0 lead at the intermission on the strength of a 38-yard scoring strike from McCarthy to junior wideout Matt Green (Stoughton, Mass.) in the first quarter followed by a pair of second quarter TD runs by senior Mike Gentili (Leominster, Mass.) from eight yards out and McCarthy from six yards.
McCarthy piloted the Bridgewater State offensive attack, completing 18 of 26 passes for a career-high 276 yards and a touchdown. McCarthy also led the Bears in rushing with 52 yards and two touchdowns. Green hauled in seven receptions for a game-high 181 yards and a TD.
Freshman linebacker Jerry Thompson (Hanson, Mass.) led the visitors with 8 ½ tackles and a forced fumble. Senior safety Dillon Huber-Parker (Longmont, Colo.) recorded an interception which set up the Bears' second touchdown of the evening.
Hanna connected on 17-of-29 for 179 yards and three touchdowns with his longest completion coming on the final score of the game. The freshman signal caller carried the ball six times for 26 yards and one touchdown. Aborishade posted a game-high 10 receptions for 111 yards with a pair of touchdowns, while freshman running Charles Ruffin (Miami, Fla.) registered 101 yards on 21 carries.
Defensively, sophomore Derek Tarpey (Tewsbury, Mass.) led the Corsairs with 18 total tackles, including five for a loss, one sack, and two forced fumbles. Senior Jordan McDonald(Brockton, Mass.) had six solo tackles, three defensive hurries, one sack, and a forced fumbles.
Notes: Wiith his 181 receiving yards, Green moved past Paul Piccioli (1,257 yds., 1989-92),Chris Carr (1,295 yds., 1998-00) and Ron McCarthy (1,325 yds., 1979-82) into seventh place on the Bears' all-time receiving list. Green now has 1,367 receiving yards in three seasons at Bridgewater State...McCarthy moved past Justin Fuller (2,372 yds., 2009-11) into fifth place on the Bears' all-time rushing list. McCarthy has rushed for 2,415 yards in four seasons at Bridgewater State...McCarthy also moved past Fuller (198 pts., 2009-11) into eighth place on the Bears' all-time scoring list as he has amassed 204 points on 34 touchdowns.